GEN0013_FC_Metalist-NUFCThe draw for the last 32 of the Europa League has been made and NUFC have been handed a draw against Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv.

Considering who Newcastle could have faced, the level of difficulties the other British sides face in their next couple of rounds in Europe,  and the fact our group winners Bordeaux have drawn Ukrainian opposition anyway and then have to get past Benfica potentially – this draw has been very favourable to us. Apart from the obvious huge travelling arrangements needed to go and watch from a fan’s point of view, from a purely footballing perspective, nobody associated with NUFC should be complaining.

However, speaking of travelling to go and see the match in the east of Ukraine potentially brings up a nasty subject in football. Racism. If you watched the BBC Panorama programme before Euro 2012 got under way, you will have seen one of their reporters travelled to Ukraine for one part of the programme to show a football match between two local rivals. What happened in this match was that a section of home fans were targeted, beating and kicked out of the stands by other home fans. For reasons of which that can only be explained because of the colour of their skin.

Newcastle fans will be travelling to this stadium on the 21st of February to watch their team hopefully go through to the next round of the Europa League. So what should they be expecting once they do so?

Racism towards our black players from the stands? Racism against themselves if they are anything other than white? Who knows. The threat of racism on both counts, or even violence, cannot be ignored as it is clear the country of Ukraine has a serious problem with it and that very football club, in that very stadium, cannot deny it doesn’t go on.

I am sure the subject will come up countless times from now until we play them at their stadium on 21st February. As for now, let’s just look at the draw from a purely footballing point of view and it isn’t that bad.

With the next round to be competed against either Anzhi or Hannover, I will take that over what our group winners Bordeaux’ next opponents will be, in the shape of either Benfica or Leverkusen.

The fans who could find themselves in Russia not long after coming back from a trip to Ukraine may not agree with me.

One thing is for sure, you will never see a mackem at Metalist.

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Big Al 1967
Big Al 1967 5pts

Any defenders of Colo I would suggest you spend 90 minutes watching him closely. I guarantee you will join me and numerous others who think he should have been got rid of in the summer. However to allow him to keep the captaincy was a massive mistake and sends completely the wrong message to others.

Likewise the decision to start Cisse against Watford and Sissoko throughout the season. Both have put in zero effort in their games so far and yet, in Sissokos case seems to be guaranteed a start. In Tiotes case the club should have taken the 20 million a few years back as he was always a liabilty.whether that be through giving the ball away or being suspended.

If we the fans think this then what are the squad thinking? I don't think it will be too dissimilar which will cause an rift and a nasty undercurrent within them which Scheetve (if still in place) must crush now by not letting them anywhere near the first team and kicked out of the club by January 2nd 2016

toon tony
toon tony 5pts

Was watching the game in Corfu yesterday, got a bit excited in the first half, the second half I was pleased I was the only one watching. And very pleased no Citeh fans were in to take the p*** . Agree with most. The whole club is ROTTEN from the TOP to the bottom.

Ankles 5pts

Agree with all but Colo as I still think he's the only one we have at the back with any composure and is nowhere near as bad as you make out. Lost a step, yes, but shouldn't go yet. You've not mentioned Obertan or Gouffran who are worse by far. By far.That pair need to go just to stop McClaren selecting them. Haidarra is nowhere near premier league as he can't defend to save his life, replace him now. Thank Christ Riviere is injured so I don't have to watch him stink the place up.Get rid.

So there is seven before Colo, and I could go on.

Phildene 5pts

@Ankles Collo is a disgrace to the strip. He's never been the same since that business with San Lorenzo. He plainly doesn't want to be here BUT wants the overblown wages he's picking up for going into hiding every game. He's lost his pace, turns his back  at every chance and has been the worst captain for many a year. He hasn't a clue and doesn't want to know, plus he IS part of the rot in our club. He's having alteration work done to his house thats why he took the extension to his damn contract. 

When it became knowledgable Collo had been given an extended contract and left as captain, my heart sank!

TonnekToon 5pts

I'd jettison the F****** lot if they're going to fold like that week in , week out !

dude 1
dude 1 5pts

Pay the 4 of them off and buy some experience in but there again who in their right mind will come here the fat man has options in my mind 1 spend money and hope by buying experienced players and saying save us and I will pay you big tax free bit at the end of the season or 2try and sell club

Money is all he is interested in he needs to have a hard look at the club he owns and decide what he wants to do with it 8 years and what has he done apart from drag us down yes it's nice being a club with money in the bank but hey what's it worth if we get relegated he must be thinking we need to win or the billions I want to make are about to disappear

If he was to sell the club the next buyer could make a fortune and have a sucsessful club on his hands but we have been saying that for years

disillusioned old man
disillusioned old man 5pts

Get rid of Penfold, he couldn't run a whelk stall. Graeme Carr may have been a good scout years ago, but I think Jimmy Carr could find better players. I am now thinking my original assessment of Steve Mc, was right he is not up to the job. But the club will remain rotten until FCB sells it. 

If he ran Sports Dire like he does NUFC he would be bankrupt.

ash1001 5pts

its perfectly OK to say get rid of Sissoko, Tiote, and Cisse, but then what? another Thauvin, Cabella, Obertan etc. 

The former 3 have not gone off the boil for some unknown reason, but there has to be one, and there lies part of the answer, - probably a big part.

Something is going on at the football club to which the fan in the street is not party too.

Sissoko for example has just about stopped playing, and that's with the Euro's coming up in his own country. 

I am 100% convinced that Charnely, Carr, Moncur are not the right people to run our football club, I know they are not kicking the ball on the field, but Charnley has a much personality as his image portrays - NIL, Carr  well for someone that has advised the club to spend £24 million on Cabella and Thauvin hes one lucky guy not to be charged with 'impersonating a football scout'' as for Moncur, good as he was a leader of the team way back he is not nothing more than a yes man to Charnley.

Now onto the actual football side - McClaren duffed it at just about every club he has been at, yet we offer him the job 3 times, + that smiling smirk of his really gets up my back, he was even smiling after getting shafted 6 - 1. Simpson his No 2 direct from Carlise via Derby, says it all, Cathro as promising as he may be based upon the opinion of others, is really like a child having to deal with the overpaid prima donnas that masquerade as footballers at our club.

And then there is us the fans who have tried just about everything to bring about change, bans, signs protests all to no avail. and we come back for more.

Finally the media, on this one I at times think Ashley will take it all, as long as somewhere along the way Sports Direct gets a mention.

HOW DOES IT GET PUT RIGHT - Now there is a question, If Ashley wants to retain the club theres only one way, what ever it costs - GET RID from the top downwards and end up at the Academy, because the CORE IS ROTTEN. Kick a few backsides along the way, 

Morpeth mag
Morpeth mag 5pts

At the end of last season, it was obvious the amount of money that needed spending to get us into any kind of top half team, 8 years of being run as a money making advertising tool, we needed to bring two center halfs, a left back (although the young boy has been outstanding considering the circumstances) t least one decent winger, a creative midfield player and two forwards,,,that is without bringing in cover for various positions, that was a minimum and it would have taken a spend of £100 to 150 million we spent a third of that,,

We have NOT ONE leader at the club, from top to bottom, we have an owner who is in it to get free advertising for his company and everyone under him follows his party line.

I have never rated colocini, he had one half decent season for us that is it, he wanted to leave about 3 seasons ago, I was hoping we would let him go,,

I would love to know how much Carr is being payed as what ever it is it is too much, he has brought in several decent players, but MOST are utter dross, I don't have to name them you all know who they ar and they are so poor we can't get rid of them.

If ashley had been serious about winning something at the club, he needed to ship out Charnley and Carr and everybody under them i include the accademy staff in this, then bring in REAL football people, who now how to build a club, if he wanted a blue print for running a club successfully on a smaller budget, look at Swansea, Southamton, Ajax, to name three, but there are others,,,

To finish my rant,, after a disasters day of sport for me ( England rugby, included) the only joy I had yesterday was to see our magnificent stadium free from any SD advertising and for all the Ashley supporters on here who spout off about how much much money he has saved our club,, why did he not advertise on one of the biggest sporting arenas he could with a world wide audience? I WILL tell you why,, BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVEN HAD TO PAY,!!!

desree 5pts

and he also knew we'd get flogged so not the best advert for his business. Unlike lat year I think all fans are finally united in their opinions as to who is to blame - everyone!

fromtheheed 5pts

All toon fans have said we should have bought a dominant centre back to replace Collo. Mbemba looks a decent buy but needs to be alongside a quality CB and Captain. Still need full back cover along with an out and out striker. Get rid of Mosso, Tiote and Cisse.

This is embarrassing.

PhilYare 5pts

'but he should have been bought a partner, not just lumbered with the clown he currently plays alongside' 

that made me chuckle, indeed it is the only thing i've smiled about since yesterday